Cleared of Palace sword at­tack, now he’s jailed for life

Metro (UK) - - NEWS - By TOM PIL­GRIM

A TER­ROR­IST ac­quit­ted of launch­ing a sword at­tack at Buck­ing­ham Palace has been jailed for life for tar­get­ing ma­jor Lon­don tourist at­trac­tions.

Mo­hius­sun­nath Chowd­hury planned gun and knife at­tacks at Madame Tus­sauds, the Pride pa­rade and an open-top sight­see­ing bus last year.

The 29-year-old for­mer Uber driver from Lu­ton, who was said to be driven by ‘dreams of mar­tyr­dom’, was ar­rested three days be­fore the Pride event last sum­mer af­ter he un­know­ingly re­vealed his plans to un­der­cover po­lice of­fi­cers.

Chowd­hury bragged to them about de­ceiv­ing an Old Bai­ley jury in De­cem­ber 2018, when he was cleared of slash­ing po­lice with a sword out­side Buck­ing­ham Palace while shout­ing ‘Al­lahu Ak­bar’.

But a jury at a sep­a­rate trial found him guilty of ter­ror of­fences in Fe­bru­ary this year.

At Wool­wich crown court, Chowd­hury was yes­ter­day sen­tenced to a min­i­mum of 25 years be­hind bars for en­gag­ing in con­duct in prepa­ra­tion of ter­ror­ist acts, col­lect­ing in­for­ma­tion likely to be use­ful to some­one pre­par­ing an act of ter­ror­ism and dis­sem­i­nat­ing ter­ror­ist pub­li­ca­tions.

The court heard four un­der­cover of­fi­cers, pos­ing as like­minded ex­trem­ists, be­friended and mon­i­tored Chowd­hury af­ter he was freed from HMP Bel­marsh in 2018. Within a week of his re­lease he be­gan post­ing ex­trem­ist mes­sages and over five months de­tec­tives gained his trust and heard his plans.

Chowd­hury’s sub­se­quent trial heard

Sick­en­ing: Chowd­hury drew pic­tures of po­lice­man be­ing killed and 9/11 at­tacks

real gun. He was said to have a doc­u­ment on his phone ti­tled ‘guid­ance for do­ing just ter­ror op­er­a­tions’, with in­struc­tions on how to kill peo­ple with knives.

While in jail on re­mand, Chowd­hury also drew pic­tures de­pict­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer be­ing mur­dered out­side No.10 and the 9/11 at­tacks.

Yes­ter­day, pros­e­cu­tor Dun­can Atkin­son QC said Chowd­hury posed a ‘sig­nif­i­cant risk to the pub­lic’ of caus­ing ‘se­ri­ous harm’ and there had been a risk of ‘an im­mi­nent at­tack’ in­tended to in­volve ‘mul­ti­ple deaths’.

But de­fence lawyer Si­mon Csoka QC ar­gued that the univer­sity drop-out was a ‘pa­thetic lit­tle man’ who ‘talks and talks, but doesn’t do’.

Judge An­drew Lees said Chowd­hury showed ‘de­vo­tion to the cause of vi­o­lent Is­lamic ex­trem­ism’. He added: ‘Your con­ver­sa­tions with the un­der­cover of­fi­cers was fo­cused, fa­nat­i­cal and an ex­po­si­tion of your sup­port for vi­o­lent ji­had. I’m sat­is­fied you planned to com­mit at­tacks of ter­ror­ism im­mi­nently.’

Chowd­hury’s sis­ter, Sneha, 26, who was con­victed of fail­ing to dis­close in­for­ma­tion about acts of ter­ror­ism, will be sen­tenced later.

ARMED po­lice stormed a prop­erty with a chain­saw as four men were ar­rested for al­legedly plot­ting a ter­ror at­tack. Footage showed of­fi­cers with guns burst­ing into a house be­fore a man is dragged out and hand­cuffed in the Good­mayes area of north-east Lon­don. He was led away by two of­fi­cers wear­ing ar­moured vests, while an­other is seen watch­ing the house through the scope of what ap­pears to be a mounted sniper. Two sus­pects were ar­rested at a nearby prop­erty and an­other in Le­ices­ter­shire. The sus­pects were said to be aged be­tween 17 and 32. All four were ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of pre­par­ing an act of ter­ror. Sources said the raids fol­lowed a sus­pected Is­lamist plot.

‘Sig­nif­i­cant risk’: Chowd­hury was said to be plan­ning at­tack

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